I’ve been doing a series of employee engagement workshops over the past six months. Part of the workshop is to have a very frank discussion about dealing with disengaged employees. No matter what organization that I’m working with, there is always a very animated conversation about “those nasty disengaged people who are draining the morale and wasting resources.”
Why is it that the leaders know about the disengaged? In fact, they can make a list of all of them they know by name or who may even report to them. If that is the case, why are they still collecting a pay check? The answer is always the same. Leadership. The leaders haven’t taken action.
If you are a leader, chances are that your disengaged employees aren’t going to raise their hands and step forward to admitting that they are disengaged. That would make it easy. But in fact, many of them feel they are doing the organization a favor by being there. Regardless of their mindset, they will continue to remain in place until someone holds up a mirror and says, “No more. This attitude and the behaviors are not a fit with our values.” It requires courage and a willingness to stand up on behalf of the organization and take ownership.
Having courageous conversations is a necessary part of leadership. It’s vital that leaders uphold the standards that will achieve the mission and values. When you see disengaged behaviors, call it out. Your organization will be stronger for it.